Mark 10:17-31 What Must I Do

(This post also seems to have disappeared. I discovered both this issue when looking for this one so I wouldn’t repeat what was said in it for Luke’s passage on this story.)

That's one way to get rid of your goods

That’s one way to get rid of your goods

Jesus is heading out of town when He is approached by a man seeking answers. This man is looking for eternal answers that only Jesus has.

I’m having a hard time writing today because this story is one Matthew already covered. I know we have had that many other times, but today I’m having difficulty finding something new to look at. I’m going to do something I haven’t done before. I’m going to point you back to the post from Matthew’s account, Rich Man Poor Man and then include a couple of things I feel I could add today.

When I was reading this passage I was drawn to the man’s use of the word “inherit.” This man was most likely a Jew because he had been following the commandments since his youth. Because of God’s covenant with Abraham the Jews believed they were all children of God and entitled to an inheritance from God. The Jewish nation was, and still is, God’s chosen people, but God put conditions on His inheritance and blessings for them. Is this what the man was referring to? What must he do to receive his birthright?

In bible times, and even now, it is possible to lose one’s “inheritance.” Esau lost His and several of Jacob’s son’s too. Their actions resulted in those consequences. When I looked up the word inherit in this context in the Strong’s Concordance I was given this definition:



  1. to receive a lot, receive by lot
    1. esp. to receive a part of an inheritance, receive as an inheritance, obtain by right of inheritance
    2. to be an heir, to inherit
  2. to receive the portion assigned to one, receive an allotted portion, receive as one’s own or as a possession
  3. to become partaker of, to obtain

The root word for this word is:



  1. one who receives by lot, an heir
    1. an heir
    2. in Messianic usage, one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship
  2. one who has acquired or obtained the portion allotted to him

Had our young man heard John the Baptist speak of God raising up stones to be children of Abraham? Was he afraid he was in danger of losing his “inheritance?” Why was he not assuming he had it all sewn up after following “all the commandments” since his youth? The Pharisees would have assured him that he was safe, but he knew he was deficient.

Just before Jesus gave him the real answer to his question, Mark points out that Jesus “loved” the man. Jesus saw his sincerity. His true understanding that he needed something only Jesus could provide. He really wanted to know what was keeping him from receiving peace about his eternal destination. What was standing in his way and what did he need to do to remove that barrier?

Jesus answered his question and showed him that the focus of his own heart was standing in the way. Did the man understand why Jesus wanted him to sell his goods? Did he recognize that he had made gods out of his goods? Was he able to make that change and finally find the peace he so desperately needed? Did he come back and follow Jesus?

God promises us eternal life as our inheritance for becoming one of His children. We do this when we surrender our life to Him. We are faced with the same choice as this rich man. Do we get rid of our gods, no matter what they are, or do we forego God’s free gift? Weather our gods are our talents, our possessions, or our positions; we have to recognize that those things don’t lead us into His kingdom. They leave us as empty as the man in our story was.

Our inheritance is still conditional. However, it is not based on works we do or don’t do, but on the one work Jesus did. He did all the hard work required to secure that reward for us. All we have to do is accept His adoption request by allowing Him to be our Lord and Savior. This makes us children of God and heirs with Him. Best deal I ever made!

Father God, thank You for adopting me. Thank You for Your promise of eternal life with You. Nothing this world has to offer compares to my inheritance from You. Thank You too that You give me many gifts in this world. You don’t require me to be destitute to be Your child, just to place You on the throne of my heart instead of anything or anyone else. I know sometimes I try to squeeze something else onto Your throne. Please forgive me and keep refocusing me when I try and make You share.

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